The Best Food For Shih Tzu Puppy
This post is for anyone who has recently welcomed a Shih Tzu puppy into their home and wants to know the best food to feed them and why. Providing your Shih Tzu with the best possible start in life is an important responsibility and we should do our best to educate ourselves on what they need and why.
Below you’ll find an overview of the different nutritional requirements for a puppy and the things you should pay attention to in the ingredient list of your puppy food. You’ll also learn why these things are important and have a list of quality puppy foods and where to buy them.
After looking into the best possible commercial food available for your Shih Tzu puppy our best choice award goes to Royal Canin – Shih Tzu Puppy Food. It contains an excellent nutritional balance perfect for a growing puppy and uses quality ingredients. They have also designed the shape of the kibble to suit the structure of a Shih Tzu’s jaw.
You can read an extended review, along with other recommended foods below. However, we would recommend reading the entire article as you’ll be left with a complete overview of what you need to consider when choosing what is the best food for your puppy.
- Nutritional Requirements For Shih Tzu Puppies.
- Best Food For A Shih Tzu Puppy – Reviews.
- Types Of Puppy Food For A Shih Tzu.
- Choosing The Best Puppy Food For Your Shih Tzu.
- Homemade Puppy Food Recipes.
- Mistakes To Avoid When Feeding Your Shih Tzu Puppy.
- Healthy Puppy Treats For Your Shih Tzu.
- Further Reading.
Nutritional Requirements For A Shih Tzu Puppy
Essential Nutrients For A Shih Tzu Puppy’s Growth And Development
Your Shih Tzu puppy has specific nutritional needs that are essential for their growth and development. Providing them with the right balance of essential nutrients is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing.
Protein is one of the most important nutrients for puppies. It is necessary for building strong muscles, bones, and tissues. Puppies need a higher amount of protein than adult dogs, as their bodies are growing and developing rapidly.
Good sources of protein include meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
Fat is another essential nutrient for puppies, as it provides them with energy and helps with the absorption of certain vitamins. Puppies require a higher amount of fat than adult dogs, but it’s important to choose healthy fats that are easily digestible.
Good sources of healthy fats include fish oil, chicken fat, and flaxseed oil.
Carbohydrates are also important for puppies, as they provide them with energy. However, it’s important to choose complex carbohydrates that are easy to digest, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal.
Vitamins and minerals are crucial for a puppy’s growth and development. They help support their immune system, aid in the development of strong bones and promote healthy skin and coat. Puppies require higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals than adult dogs, such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.
In summary, providing your puppy with the right balance of essential nutrients is crucial for their growth and development. It’s important to choose high-quality puppy food that meets their nutritional needs and to avoid feeding them table scraps or human food, as these may not provide the necessary nutrients for their growing bodies. By providing your puppy with a healthy and balanced diet, you can help set them up for a lifetime of good health.
Recommended Ratios Of Protein, Fat, And Carbohydrates
The recommended ratios of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for your puppy’s diet may vary depending on their breed, size, and activity level. However, as a general guideline, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that a puppy’s diet contain a minimum of:
22% protein for growth and development.
8% fat for energy and healthy skin and coat.
5% fiber for digestive health.
If you are unsure if your Shih Tzu has any specific dietary needs then you should see your veterinarian.
The Importance Of Vitamins And Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for a Shih Tzu puppy’s growth and development. They help support their immune system, aid in the development of strong bones and promote healthy skin and coat.
Puppies require higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals than adult dogs, as their bodies are growing and flourishing.
Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals for a puppy’s diet:
- Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Puppies require higher amounts of calcium than adult dogs, as their bones are still growing and developing.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus works together with calcium to help build strong bones and teeth. It’s important to maintain a proper balance of calcium and phosphorus in a puppy’s diet.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It’s important for the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. It’s important for a healthy immune system and can also promote healthy skin and coat.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, immune function, and skin health. Puppies require higher amounts of vitamin A than adult dogs.
- Iron: Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Puppies require higher amounts of iron than adult dogs, as their bodies are growing and developing rapidly.
- Zinc: Zinc is important for a healthy immune system and can also promote healthy skin and coat. Puppies require higher amounts of zinc than adult dogs.
It’s important to choose a puppy food that contains a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals.
Feeding your Shih Tzu a varied diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables can also help ensure they are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
If you would like to add fresh treats to your Shih Tzu’s diet then might like to read some of our other articles:
In summary, vitamins and minerals are crucial for your Shih Tzu’s growth and development. They help support their immune system, aid in the development of strong bones and promote healthy skin and coat. By choosing high-quality puppy food that contains a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals, you can help set your puppy up for a lifetime of good health.
Best Dog Food For A Shih Tzu Puppy – Reviews
So taking into consideration the points above I have provided a list of food for puppies that I feel tick all the necessary boxes. They have good quality and percentages of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as well as other necessary vitamins and nutrients to help your puppy develop in the most healthy way.
If you would like to learn more about the best diet for your Shih Tzu Puppy, then there is more information below. You might also like to read our more thorough article: Shih Tzu Food List – What They Can & Can’t Eat.
Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Food (Best Choice Dry Food)
Royal Canin is an excellent choice of dog food for puppies and gets our best choice award for dry kibble. It ticks all the nutritional boxes and I particularly like the “V” shape design of the kibble. Due to the Shih Tzu having a shortened jaw, they can have problems biting chunks of food and this design is specifically to help with that.
It is enriched with a specific nutrient complex including EPA, DHA, and vitamin A which helps to maintain healthy skin. It also contains a good balance of healthy bacteria that help to promote healthy digestion reducing stool odor and volume. This food is suitable for Shih Tzu puppies from 8 weeks to 10 months old.
- Formulated especially for Shih Tzus.
- Specially designed kibble for Shih Tzu jaw structure.
- Enriched with nutrients and vitamins.
- Quality ingredients.
- Contains healthy bacteria for good digestion.
Purina ONE +Plus Natural Puppy Food (Best Choice Wet Food)
If you’re looking for quality wet puppy food for your Shih Tzu, Purina One Wet Puppy Food is definitely worth considering and gets our best choice award for wet food. Purina One Wet Puppy Food is made with real meat as the first ingredient, providing a great source of protein for growing puppies.
It also contains a blend of high-quality carbohydrates, including brown rice and oatmeal, which are easily digestible and provide a steady source of energy throughout the day.
Another benefit of Purina One Wet Puppy Food is that it is formulated with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are essential for a puppy’s overall health and well-being. This ensures that your Shih Tzu is receiving all the necessary nutrients they need to support their growth and development.
In terms of taste and texture, according to the majority of customer reviews, puppies love this Wet Puppy Food. It has a soft, moist texture that is easy to eat and digest, and it also has a delicious meaty flavor.
Purina One Wet Puppy food has an excellent 4.7 out of 5 star review on Amazon with over 18,000 reviews.
- Added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients specific to a puppy’s nutritional needs.
- Natural ingredients.
- No by-products.
- Made with real lamb.
- No fillers.
- Veterinarian approved.
- Excellent customer ratings.
Wellness Complete Health – Small Breed Puppy Food
Wellness Puppy Food includes turkey and chicken meal as its first 2 ingredients and also includes oatmeal, salmon meal, ground barley, and ground brown rice. This is an excellent balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and will provide your puppy with all their nutritional needs.
This is a “healthy weight formula” with reduced calories but without sacrificing the nutritional content. This is a good choice of food to ensure your puppy maintains a healthy weight. One of the best features of this dog food is that it’s made from all-natural ingredients with no wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
- An excellent balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
- Healthy weight formula.
- All-natural ingredients.
- Contains no wheat, corn, or soy.
- Contains no meat by-products.
- Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food is a great option for Shih Tzu owners looking to give their furry friend the best possible start in life. One of the biggest advantages of Hill’s Science dog food is that it is specially formulated with high-quality, natural ingredients that promote healthy growth and development for puppies.
It contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support a strong immune system and optimal brain development. It is also made with real chicken as the first ingredient, providing a great source of protein for growing puppies. It also contains a balanced blend of carbohydrates and fats, which are essential for energy and maintaining a healthy weight.
One thing that really sets Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food apart is its commitment to using only the highest-quality ingredients. It is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and is made with natural ingredients that are easy to digest and gentle on a puppy’s sensitive stomach.
This dog food has an excellent 4.7 out of 5 star review on Amazon.
- No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy.
- Specifically formulated for puppies.
- Provides DHA from fish oil.
- Quality protein source.
- Balanced minerals.
- Added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Made in the USA.
- Veterinarian recommended.
Orijen Puppy Food
Orijen Puppy Food is a quality, premium puppy food that offers a range of benefits for growing puppies. One of the biggest advantages of Orijen dog food is that it is made with a variety of high-quality, fresh meats as the primary ingredients. These include free-run chicken and turkey, whole eggs, and wild-caught fish, which provide a complete protein source for optimal muscle development and growth.
Another benefit is that it contains a range of nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, and botanicals that support a strong immune system and optimal digestion. These ingredients include fresh apples, spinach, and cranberries, as well as chicory root and turmeric, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Another key feature is their focus on biologically appropriate ingredients that mimic a puppy’s natural diet in the wild. This means that the food is free from grains and other unnecessary fillers, and instead provides a complete and balanced diet that is specifically tailored to a puppy’s needs.
- High-protein recipe.
- 85% animal ingredients.
- Fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone.
- Fresh regional ingredients.
Taste Of The Wild – Grain-Free Puppy Food
Taste Of The Wild for puppies is a grain-free dog food that has fresh salmon as its primary protein source. It has a smaller kibble that is perfect for a Shih Tzu puppy. The ingredients in this food are from sustainable sources is doesn’t contain any grain, wheat, corn, or any other “filler”. It is a highly digestible food with added vitamins and minerals giving your puppy all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. It’s a family own business located in the USA.
- Fresh salmon protein source.
- Small kibble is perfect for Shih Tzu.
- Ingredients from sustainable sources.
- Contains no wheat, corn, or other fillers.
- Highly digestible.
Types Of Puppy Food For A Shih Tzu
There are several types of dog food available for your Shih Tzu puppy, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common types of puppy food:
- Dry food: Dry food, also known as kibble, is one of the most popular types of dog food. It’s convenient, easy to store, and relatively affordable. Dry food typically contains a combination of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. It’s important to choose high-quality dry food that meets your puppy’s nutritional needs.
- Wet food: Wet food, also known as canned food, is another popular option for puppies. Wet food typically contains more moisture than dry food, which can help keep your puppy hydrated. It’s also more palatable for some puppies, as it has a stronger aroma and flavor. However, wet food is typically more expensive than dry food, and it can spoil more quickly.
- Semi-moist food: Semi-moist food is a type of dog food that falls somewhere between dry and wet food. It typically contains more moisture than dry food but less than wet food. Semi-moist food is convenient and easy to store, but it can be high in sugar and other additives.
- Homemade food: Some owners prefer to make their own puppy food at home, using ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and grains. Homemade food can be a good option for owners who want to have more control over what their puppy eats. However, it’s important to ensure that homemade food is nutritionally balanced and meets your puppy’s specific needs.
- Raw food: Raw food, also known as a raw diet, is a controversial type of puppy food. Raw food typically consists of raw meat, bones, and organs, as well as some fruits and vegetables. Advocates of raw food claim that it is more natural and healthier for puppies, but opponents argue that it can be difficult to balance nutritionally and may pose a risk of bacterial contamination.
It’s important to choose a type of puppy food that meets your puppy’s nutritional needs and fits your lifestyle and budget. Consulting with your veterinarian can help you make an informed decision about what type of puppy food is best for your furry friend.
If you are considering feeding your Shih Tzu a raw diet then you might like to read our dedicated article to this topic: Raw Food For A Shih Tzu – Complete Guide.
How To Choose The Best Puppy Food For Your Shih Tzu
Choosing the best food for your puppy is an important decision that can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. Here are some things you need to consider when selecting puppy food:
- Nutritional needs: Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, as they are growing and developing rapidly. Look for a puppy food that is specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs, with a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
- Quality of ingredients: The quality of the ingredients in your puppy’s food can make a big difference in their overall health. Look for a puppy food that contains high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, beef, or fish, and avoid foods that contain fillers or artificial additives.
- Brand reputation: Not all pet food brands are created equal. Look for brands with a good reputation for quality and safety, and avoid brands that have been involved in recalls or other safety issues.
- Price: While it’s important to choose high-quality puppy food, it’s also important to stay within your budget. Compare prices and look for sales or discounts to get the best value for your money.
- Feeding preferences: Some puppies prefer dry food, while others prefer wet or semi-moist food. Consider your puppy’s feeding preferences when selecting their food.
- Breed and size: Different breeds and sizes of puppies may have different nutritional needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine what type of food is best for your puppy based on their breed and size.
- Health conditions: If your puppy has any health conditions, such as allergies or digestive issues, you may need to select a specific type of food that meets their specific needs.
By considering these factors when choosing your Shih Tzu’s food, you can help ensure that they get the nutrition they need to grow and thrive. It’s also important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best food for your puppy based on their individual needs and circumstances.
Homemade Puppy Food For Your Shih Tzu
Benefits Of Homemade Puppy Food
Homemade food can be a good option for puppies in some cases. Here are some potential benefits of feeding your puppy homemade food:
- Control over ingredients: When you make your own puppy food at home, you have complete control over the ingredients that go into it. This can be particularly beneficial if your puppy has allergies or other dietary restrictions, as you can choose ingredients that meet their specific needs.
- Freshness: Homemade puppy food is typically fresher than commercial dog food, which can be important for maintaining the nutritional value of the food.
- Variety: By making your own puppy food, you can offer your puppy a wider variety of foods and flavors than they might get from commercial dog food.
- Bonding: Preparing your puppy’s food at home can be a great way to bond with them and show them love and affection.
- Cost savings: Depending on the ingredients you use, making your own puppy food at home can be less expensive than buying commercial dog food.
However, it’s important to note that making homemade puppy food can be time-consuming and may require a lot of research and planning to ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced and meets your Shih Tzu’s needs.
It’s also important to work closely with your veterinarian to develop a homemade diet that is safe and healthy for your puppy. In some cases, commercial puppy food may be a better option, particularly if you are not able to devote the time and effort required to prepare homemade food.
If you are considering feeding your Shih Tzu a raw diet then you might like to read our dedicated article on this topic: Raw Food For A Shih Tzu – Complete Guide.
Risks Of Homemade Puppy Food
While homemade puppy food can have some benefits, there are also potential risks that pet owners should be aware of. Here are some of the potential risks of homemade food for puppies:
- Nutritional imbalances: Making your own puppy food can be challenging, as it can be difficult to ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced and contains all the essential vitamins and minerals your puppy needs to grow and develop. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies or imbalances that can have negative health consequences.
- Contamination: Preparing homemade puppy food requires careful attention to hygiene and food safety to prevent contamination from harmful bacteria or other pathogens. If not prepared correctly, homemade puppy food can pose a risk of foodborne illness.
- Digestive upset: Puppies have sensitive digestive systems, and sudden changes in their diet can lead to digestive upset, including diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Time-consuming: Preparing homemade puppy food can be time-consuming and require a lot of effort and planning to ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced and meets your puppy’s needs.
- Cost: Depending on the ingredients you use, making your own puppy food at home can be more expensive than buying commercial dog food.
- Lack of regulation: Unlike commercial dog food, homemade puppy food is not regulated by any governing body, which means that there are no standards for nutritional content or safety.
While homemade puppy food can be a good option in some cases, it’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to ensure that the food is safe, healthy, and meets your puppy’s nutritional needs.
Mistakes To Avoid When Feeding Your Shih Tzu Puppy.
Feeding your Shih Tzu puppy can be challenging, and there are several common feeding mistakes that pet owners should try to avoid. Here are some of the most common feeding mistakes to watch out for:
- Overfeeding: One of the most common feeding mistakes is overfeeding. Puppies have small stomachs and can’t eat as much as adult dogs, so it’s important to feed them smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
- Feeding table scraps: While it can be tempting to give your puppy table scraps or human food, this can lead to digestive upset and nutritional imbalances. Stick to a high-quality puppy food that is specifically formulated for your puppy’s nutritional needs.
- Feeding too many treats: Treats can be a great way to reward your puppy or reinforce good behavior, but it’s important to use them in moderation. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
- Inconsistent feeding schedule: Puppies thrive on routine, so it’s important to establish a consistent feeding schedule and stick to it. This can help prevent digestive upset and establish good eating habits.
- Not providing enough water: Puppies need access to clean, fresh water at all times. Make sure your puppy always has access to water and that their water bowl is cleaned regularly.
Feeding the wrong type of food: It’s important to choose high-quality puppy food that is specifically formulated for your puppy’s nutritional needs. Avoid feeding your puppy adult dog food, as it may not provide the right balance of nutrients for your puppy’s growth and development.
By avoiding these common feeding mistakes and working closely with your veterinarian to develop a healthy, balanced diet for your puppy, you can help ensure that your dog grows up strong, healthy, and happy.
Homemade Recipies For Your Shih Tzu Puppy
Here are three homemade recipes that are balanced and healthy for your puppy:
Chicken and Rice Recipe
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups water
- Cook the rice according to the package instructions.
- In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned.
- Add the chopped vegetables, parsley, basil, and oregano to the chicken and stir to combine.
- Add the cooked rice and 2 cups of water to the chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Let the mixture cool before serving your puppy.
Beef and Sweet Potato Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 cups water
- In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
- Add the diced sweet potatoes, chopped spinach, thyme, and rosemary to the beef and stir to combine.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Let the mixture cool before serving your puppy.
Salmon and Sweet Pea Recipe
- 1 can of salmon, drained and flaked
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup sweet peas
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups water
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the flaked salmon, cooked brown rice, sweet peas, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool before serving your puppy.
Remember to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that these recipes are appropriate for your puppy’s individual nutritional needs. Additionally, it’s important to feed these recipes in moderation and not as the sole source of your puppy’s nutrition.
Healthy Puppy Treats
If you currently training your Shih Tzu and buying treats then we would recommend they are a healthy option with no added sugar, preservatives, or additives. There are many options available on Amazon that can be delivered straight to your door.
The Stages Of A Shih Tzu’s Life – What Is Considered A Puppy?
Shih Tzus, like many other dog breeds, go through three distinct stages in their lives. These stages are known as puppyhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
- Puppyhood: During the first stage of a Shih Tzu’s life, which lasts from birth until around 6-8 weeks of age, puppies are completely dependent on their mother for food and care. After they are weaned, they begin to explore the world around them, developing their senses and learning basic socialization skills. It’s important to provide puppies with a safe and nurturing environment during this stage, as it sets the foundation for their future behavior and health.
- Adolescence: The second stage of a Shih Tzu’s life, which lasts from around 6 months to 2 years of age, is characterized by significant growth and development. Adolescence is a time when Shih Tzus become more independent and may begin to challenge their owners or exhibit behavioral issues. It’s important to continue providing socialization and training during this stage to help your Shih Tzu mature into a well-behaved and well-adjusted adult dog.
- Adulthood: The third stage of a Shih Tzu’s life begins around 2 years of age and lasts until their senior years. This is when Shih Tzus reach their full size and physical maturity. Adult Shih Tzus require regular exercise and a balanced diet to maintain their health and vitality. It’s also important to monitor their health and provide regular veterinary care to detect and treat any potential health issues that may arise.
Understanding the three stages of a Shih Tzu’s life can help pet owners provide the proper care and attention needed during each phase.
If you would like to dig deeper into all areas of caring for your Shih Tzu we recommend you check out the book below.
Using interviews with 17 top Shih Tzu breeders, author and experienced Shih Tzu owner Molly Weinfurter has created an in-depth look at what it takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a Shih Tzu.
This book has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 220 reviews.
In conclusion, choosing the best food for your Shih Tzu puppy is one of the most important decisions you can make as a pet parent.
By understanding your puppy’s nutritional requirements, researching different types of dog food, and avoiding common feeding mistakes, you can help ensure that your puppy is receiving a balanced and healthy diet.
Whether you choose to feed commercial dog food or homemade meals, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your Shih Tzu’s individual nutritional needs are being met.